Thursday, February 16, 2012

We win in New Jersey in spite of veto threat

By a vote of 42-33 the New Jersey legislature has passed a marriage equality bill. That's the good news. The bad news is that Gov. Chris Christie has promised to swiftly veto the bill.

But it doesn't end there in terms of good news. The legislature has until the end of 2014 to overturn the veto.

In spite of the confusion, I consider today to be a huge victory. You see, I was around when the subject of marriage equality first came big on the scene in 2004. Back then, the opponents rode a tsunami of energized opposition. It was an ugly time because it reminded us lgbtqs just how some folks felt about us. There was so much ignorance about the subject.

But now, over eight years later, we are riding the tsunami. As people began to become educated about the subject of marriage equality, it became a simple fact to them that all the lgbtq community wants is safety and commitment for our loved ones. Public support is on our side, as well a few legislative bodies. These are two things that I thought I would never see as a possibility.

Gov. Christie will probably veto the bill and folks will work like hell to get the votes to overturn it and that's how it should be. It's indicative of the fight over marriage equality. It's not going to be a cakewalk, but a long slog; a battle of attrition.

And personally, that's fine by me. You see, the opposition isn't advancing like they were in 2004. We are. Sure they may hold us off in some places. They may convince a legislative body in one  area to not vote on marriage equality and they may successfully push a referendum in another. But all of their actions are merely to beat back growing momentum. And their attempts won't be successful because they are not gaining ground. They are either losing ground or fighting like hell to hold on to the ground that they already have.

Meanwhile, we are doing the gaining  and doing it quite well.

What our opponents fail to realize is that all of their attempts are mere postponements of the inevitable. You can only postpone the inevitable, but you can never stop it.

And marriage equality is an inevitability.

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'More proof that Maggie Gallagher lied about NOM's support of 'ex-gay' therapy' and other Thursday midday news briefs

NOM prez in '05: Gay 'change' can 'prevent your child from embracing this destructive way of life' - More proof on Maggie Gallagher's lie about NOM and "ex-gay" therapy. Yeah, I know many of you will say "big deal. NOM always lies." But the point is the battering. We win when we constantly batter the message that NOM is an organization of liars into the heads of Americans. And that is something we should do insistently, unceasingly, and without apology.

Prominent Santorum Backer: Gay Movement Seeks To Recruit ‘Questioning’ Youth Into Homosexuality - Vander Plaats again. Ugh.

Clay Cane And Janet Mock Discuss Being Black And LGBT, Homophobia, Transphobia, And More - A HIGHLY pertinent conversation.

Tennessee's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Advances In House Despite Protests - This is the most ridiculous crap I've ever heard.

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O'Reilly under fire for defending Ellen DeGeneres

I don't like Bill O'Reilly. He isn't a good journalist but rather a loudmouth bully.

But the one time he makes sense, he gets attacked by members of the religious right.

O'Reilly recent defended popular lesbian celebrity Ellen DeGeneres and the department store JC Penny from attacks by the One Million Moms, a group pushed by the American Family Association. One Million Moms is angry that JC Penny chose DeGeneres as its spokesperson and is demanding that the company reverse the decision.O'Reilly said the following:

“If you remember with the McCarthy era of the 1950s, they were trying to hunt down communist sympathizers and not let them work and put them on a blacklist… What is the difference between the McCarthy era communist blacklist in the ‘50s and the Million Moms saying, ‘Hey, J.C. Penney and all you other stores, don’t you hire any gay people. Don’t you dare.’ What is the difference? . . . The essential question is that a conservative group in this country is asking a private company to fire an American citizen based upon her lifestyle. I don’t think that’s correct.”

Uh oh. He shouldn't have said that. Through its phony news publication One News Now, the American Family Association calls itself striking back via a column by one Michael Brown.

You'll probably be hearing more about Brown in the future, but for now here is the skinny. He is a huckster, a phony, a charlatan. He saw how much press religious right figures are getting by bashing the gay community and decided to join the publicity train to get his piece of the pie.

Anyway, this is part of what he wrote about O'Reilly's comments:

Simply stated, in a media culture where out and proud lesbians like Ellen, Rachel Maddow, and Suzie Orman are as American as apple pie, O'Reilly's reference to the McCarthyism of the 1950s "that banished perceived leftwing job seekers from employment in the entertainment industry" could hardly be more irrelevant.

But that is really secondary to the larger issue -- namely the reason for the Moms' opposition to Ellen as a spokesperson for JC Penney. O'Reilly notes that "DeGeneres is an American citizen," adding that, "She has committed no crime. If she wants to promote equality for gays or gay marriage, that is her constitutional right. She should not be dismissed from anything."

Of course, that is her constitutional right; and of course, she has committed no crime -- but that is not the point. In fact, O'Reilly began his article expressing his sympathies for people who "oppose the in-your-face tactics of some homosexuals" at public events like parades in New York City. "They simply want to be left alone. They don't want to see explicit displays in public that offend their moral or religious point of view."

And that is precisely the issue here. Ellen is the poster-girl par excellence for gay and lesbian causes, and her 2008 "marriage" to Portia DeRossi was celebrated on the front cover of People Magazine. Her 1997 TV announcement that she was gay made television history, and she is an ever-present, always winsome, spokesperson for gay activism.

The gist of Brown's nonsense is that it is perfectly fine to demand that JC Penny fire Ellen because it's not that she is a lesbian, but that she is an out lesbian celebrity who is popular in the public eye.

Perhaps Brown would have wanted JC Penny to find a timid, self-hating in-the-closet lesbians who, in the middle of advertising for JC Penny, would burst into tears and talk about how she hates herself and her life.

I mean how dare DeGeneres conducts herself like she isn't ashamed. Why if that were allowed to happen, people would see lgbtqs as normal. And worse than that, young lgbtqs may feel less isolated and depressed.

And we can't have that happening.

The irony is that Brown makes O'Reilly's point. To target someone not because of any alleged harm they have done, but because who they are is McCarthy-like tactics. And it doesn't matter how you try to pretty up the targeting.  Pouring a ton of sugar on manure doesn't make it edible and disguising a campaign of hate under the guise of family values doesn't make it palpable either.

Editor's note - If you have high blood pressure, avoid the comments section of the Brown's piece. It is filled with idiots citing convenience sample studies on the "so-called dangers of lesbianism." Apparently religious right tactics regarding distorting research have been picked up by their supporters.

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